Letter to the Editor

Not in agreement with proposal

Sunday, July 19, 2009

To the Editor:

What has happened to the unalienable rights of man, according to the Declaration of Independence, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in the City of Brazil?

It is one thing to have someone sign a list at the Police Department if they are going to have fire in their back yard to inform authorities that there is no need to roll out firefighting equipment.

That takes but a minute and costs the city next to nothing.

From monitoring my scanner these last five years, I cannot recall ever hearing anyone calling in a fire, within the city limits and the dispatcher reporting that it was either an authorized or an unauthorized fire. I have heard reports of both outside of the city limits.

It is quite another to require a citizen to show two pieces of identification or charge a fee for a person to lawfully use their own yard, as has been suggested by City Councilman Steve Lamb and the Common Council of the City of Brazil. Now, I do understand that several cartoon characters, such as Daffy Duck and Popeye, have signed the burn permit list. However, does the identification of the signatory even matter? I have never had anyone in authority stop and question a fire in my back yard. If that happened, wouldn't I, the resident or person on the scene, be the person responsible for the fire? In the case of fire on an unoccupied property, would not the neighbors report the fire?

So, why has the Common Council decided to require a procedure that incurs more administrative costs to save nothing? For what reason do they wish to interfere with my right to pursue happiness in my own back yard? If they decide to impose a fee to permit a resident to have a fire, where is the money going to go? How much is the administrative cost of checking identification, which might take a minute of someone's time? As a fee is being considered, even a fee of a dollar per permit would generate more than the administrative costs.

In my opinion, that is just a plan for government to intrude into a citizen's life beyond any beneficial or productive need.

So much for "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!"

Leo L. Southworth